The Effects of Mass Media Towards Children

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Mass media is a medium of communication such as television, radio, or newspapers that reach very large numbers of people. Media’s unique power and reach can be used to educate children and enrich their lives and have negative consequences at the same time. Heavy media exposure on children increases the risk of harm which includes obesity, smoking, sex, drug and alcohol use, attention problems and poor grades in school. Too many children are neglecting schoolwork and exercise in favour of eating chips in front of the television. Fast-paced video games and television shows have shortened children's attention spans. Recreational reading is almost nonexistent, basic reading and math skills are lagging way behind. Today, children spend at least six hours a day with media. Children spend more time with media to compare with any other activities, except for sleeping. Children who consistently spend more than 4 hours per day watching the television are more likely to be overweight. Children who view violent acts are more likely to show aggressive behaviour but also fear that the world is scary and that something bad will happen to them. If a child beats another child to death with a wrench or shoots a friend, it is the violent television programs that they watch which are to blame, not the parents or the supervisors who are supposed to be there to make sure their kids do the right thing. Television characters often depict risky behaviours, such as smoking and drinking, and also reinforce gender-role and racial stereotypes. Some verses of songs that the children listen to on the radio or even on the Internet overwhelm them with vulgarity and crudeness. The internet can be a bad exposure for the children, for example, pornography and violent websites. It is easy for the children to access to these websites because the security is not tight. Mass media also has its good as well as bad influence on children. Mass media plays a very important role in creating awareness...
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